Suspected mastermind of the Paris terror attacks Abdelhamid Abaaoud has been confirmed as one of two people killed in the police raid in St Denis on Thursday morning (France time).
His bullet-ridden body was pulled from the rubble and has been formally identified though fingerprints, the Paris prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
Abaaoud, 28, played a “key role” in the Paris attacks on November 13, France’s Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said in a statement, as well as likely having been involved in four of the six terror attacks foiled by French intelligence services since the beginning of this year.
He said these attacks followed the same modus operandi: “programming, from abroad, of violent actions perpetrated by jihadists from our European countries, trained in weapons and then returned to our territories to perpetrate attacks.”
Abaaoud, a Moroccan-born Belgian, had been the subject of a European and international arrest warrant issued by Belgium, and been sentenced in absentia to 20 years in prison,
His associate Saleh Abdeslam remains the subject of an international manhunt.
Meanwhile, Mr Cazeneuve has called for Europe to strengthen control of its external borders, and strengthen their coordination against arms trafficking.
France has also voted to extend their state of emergency for another three months, during which police have greater powers to search homes, make arrests, and impose house arrest. It was voted in by an overwhelming majority of the National Assembly, at 551 to 6.